Al Rayyan vs Al Sadd — Thursday, 8th February, 2018 @ 18:50, Al Sadd Stadium
The encounter between Al Rayyan and Al Sadd, dubbed the Qatar Clasico, on Thursday highlights the QNB Stars League’s Week 16 fixtures. The kick-off is at 18:50 at the Al Sadd Stadium.
The Qatar Clasico is the much-anticipated and highest-profile event, both on and off the field, in the country’s club football scene. Much is at stake for coaches, players, officials, administrators and fans alike.
It will also pit two of Qatar’s best teams against each other in terms of reputation and strength.
And the clash between the second and third-placed teams in the QNB Stars League standings will have all ingredients of a thriller that will keep the spectators on the edge of their seats.
Al Sadd, nicknamed The Wolves, are second with 37 points, two behind Al Duhail and two more than Al Rayyan.
While Al Sadd defeated Qatar SC 3-1, The Lions prevailed over Al Markhiya by the same margin in the last round.
Al Sadd coach Jesualdo Ferreira (Portugal) and his Al Rayyan counterpart Michael Laudrup (Algeria) are both master tacticians and have produced excellent results. And that makes the ‘Qatar Classico’ a battle for technical supremacy as well.
On the players’ front, Al Sadd boast of the high-profile status of Algerian attacking midfielder Jugurtha Hamroun and Qatar international Hassan Al Haidous besides Spanish World Cup and European Championship winner Xavi Hernandez. Al Rayyan will mainly rely on Abderrazaq Hamdallah, Rodrigo Tabata, Sebastian Soria and Mohsen Moutaouli.
Al Sadd, who will miss the services of injured Algerian spearhead Baghdad Bounedjah, had recently strengthened the side with Akram Afif, on loan from Villarreal, Spain, till the end of this season. He had represented Qatar at the recent Asian Under-23 Championship in China.
They also recruited Ali Faridoun, Sami Subait, Hamed Ismail and Abdelkarim Hassan in the winter transfer period.
Meanwhile, Al Rayyan roped in Ahmed Yasser on loan from Al Duhail. He joined them from Spanish club Cultural Leonesa till the end of this season.
Al Rayyan also got Abdulrahman Al Harazi after his loan period to Al Sailiya and Hossam Kamal from his loan move to Al Arabi.
Both Al Sadd and Al Rayyan will throw their everything into the game. Whatever be the result, the Qatar Clasico, as always, will be fought keenly.
Al Sadd will also be keen to avenge their 1-2 loss in the first-phase match.